生，活／Life on the road
也许我的偏好改变了，也许没有。小学有一阵子，我的主要课外书（厕所／饭桌／午休）是《生存手册》。我还记得宝盒里的火石和锯条，记得怎么用树叶或细枝搭建庇护所，记得给鹿放血时的注意事项，梦想着有一天能拥有一颗 β 灯。在那之前是《福尔摩斯全集》，之后是《科幻世界》。
I hated drifting much since I was a kid. I would trade opportunity for
stability or was simply too lazy to try. It just turned out I entered a
boarding high school, went abroad for college, from a distant place to
another farther place.
Maybe my preferences have changed, maybe not. For a while in elementary school, my main reading (toilet/dining table/noon break) was the SAS Survival Handbook. I still remember the flint and flexible saw in the survival kit, how to build a shelter with leaves or twigs, or the significant steps when bleeding a deer, and I still dream of having a beta light one day. Before that was the Complete Sherlock Holmes, followed by Science Fiction World.
But I never liked to travel far. The baggage, the charging, the trade-off between comfort and lightweight, the sense of emptiness when back home. After living outside for a long time, after adapting to the surroundings, it is inevitable to form some attachment to the residence, and makes it difficult to pack when leaving. Don’t know what to leave behind, don’t know what will be missed in the future.
As I write these words, things that I have left in Japan float onto my mind, and rush down my vision.
Ironically, however, it is the drifting of the past years that defines
who I am now.
I have read a manga called My Wife is A Stranger. When the author and his wife were taking a working holiday in Australia (P27), their staple food were meat and mango. He ate fish almost every day in his hometown. And when nearby their apartment opens a new convenience store, he bought instant noodle from time to time. I thought while reading the book, whoa, I have to be like that someday, to be able to survive anywhere. Well, all in a sudden, I am already.
Once when Danshari and minimalism were hot, I was so unable to give up any thing. In the end, I managed to move abroad alone. After scanning almost all handouts and notes, the checked luggage was still overweight for thousands of RMB. When I finally arrived at my new dormitory, I found that the past few years had hardly left any trace of luggage volume.
I guess I am not a minimalist in nature. In my home back in China, my book occupied the bookshelves of two complete walls and almost half of the floor of the study. However, half a year ago, what were stuffed into my luggage were several bunkobons and one huge second-handed specialized book. Cutting off the books was the last and most difficult sacrifice I made for the drifting.
…But who knows?
If one day, my wandering life guides me to abandoning all of my electronic products, will I embrace it?
I’ve been always planning, dreaming, waiting to have my own house one
day. When I don’t have to throw anything away, when I can stuff my
bookcase, when I can put a thousand flower pots on the balcony… I once
had it; I almost had it, If I stayed in Japan for graduate study and
work, my family would support me to buy a house – but after receiving
the admission letter from Bonn, I was enchanted, and all of those was
left behind my head.
Staying in Europe used to be on my list too. However, from some certain day, the charm of Los Angeles overshadowed my prejudice against the US, overshadowed my reluctance to settle down, and began to yell at me.
Maybe, after all, I still like drifting.